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Looking Forward to Cisco’s Internal Security Conference: SecCon 2014

Cisco’s internal security conference (SecCon) is just around the corner and this year marks our seventh anniversary!

In previous years SecCon participants heard from a renowned privacy specialist, a Chief Security Officer from a large customer, a cyber security coordinator for two U.S. Presidents, and a self-described gentleman thief. This year we are delighted to welcome another lineup of top-notch industry-leading speakers, including:

  • Alex Stamos, Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), Yahoo
  • Dave Kennedy, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), TrustedSec
  • Mano Paul, CEO, SecuRisk Solutions
  • Josh Corman, Chief Technology Officer for Sonatype
  • Adam Shostack, Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing Usable Security Team
  • James Wickett, DevOps and InfoSec expert from Signal Sciences Corp
  • John Stewart, CSO, Cisco

The security community and talent at Cisco is growing at a very fast pace. SecCon has brought together hundreds of engineers, live and virtually, from Cisco offices around the globe with one common goal: to share their knowledge and increase the overall security posture of Cisco products.

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Another Major Vulnerability Bashes Systems

Vulnerabilities that permit remote network attacks against ubiquitous software components are the nightmares of security professionals. On 24 September the presence of a new vulnerability, CVE-2014-6271 in Bash shell allowing remote code execution was disclosed.
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Announcing the Cisco IOS Software Security Advisory Bundled Publication

Today, we released the final Cisco IOS Software Security Advisory Bundled Publication of 2014. Six years ago, Cisco committed to disclosing IOS vulnerabilities on a predictable schedule (on the fourth Wednesday of March and September each calendar year) in direct response to your feedback. We know this timeline allows your organization to plan and help ensure resources are available to analyze, test, and remediate vulnerabilities in your environments.

Today’s edition of the Cisco IOS Software Security Advisory Bundled Publication includes six advisories that affect the following technologies:

  • Resource Reservation Protocol (RSVP)
  • Metadata
  • Multicast Domain Name System (mDNS)
  • Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)
  • DHCP version 6 (DHCPv6)
  • Network Address Translation (NAT)

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Continuing Our Legacy: Cisco Leads in Security Effectiveness

Last week we announced the availability of Cisco ASA with FirePOWER Services, which represents the industry’s first threat-focused next-generation firewall (NGFW). This offering addresses threats across the full attack continuum anytime and anywhere a threat may manifest.

Today NSS Labs released the final reports from its 2014 comparative NGFW testing, focusing on security effectiveness, total cost of ownership (TCO), performance and management. Classic FirePOWER appliances, such as the FirePOWER 8350 and the new Cisco ASA with FirePOWER Services, were included and scored equally well in testing, specifically in security efficacy.

If you have been following the Cisco security strategy then our results will not be a huge surprise to you. And, if you haven’t been following, then these results are going to be of great interest. In less than one year after the acquisition closed we have integrated leading next-generation IPS (NGIPS) and Advanced Malware Protection (AMP) into the Cisco ASA product line, and achieved this integration without compromising performance and continuing to innovate and focus on what matters: stopping threats. The below NSS Labs Security Value Map (SVM) visually depicts the results of this testing and includes Cisco ASA with FirePOWER Services and the classic FirePOWER 8350 appliance. All achieve top marks for security – the same position that FirePOWER appliances have always enjoyed.

NSS NGFW SVM Edition 3 Graphic

Since the inception of Sourcefire, the focus has always been on providing the most effective security in the market. Cisco continues this focus on improving coverage, decreasing customer exposure, providing unmatched visibility, and empowering customers to protect your networks and customize that protection to match your infrastructure, applications, and risks. We go further in creating the best management capabilities available and deliver the combination through our purpose-built solutions designed for enterprise networks. We believe the combined platforms provide the best overall flexibility, coverage, value, and reliability there is.

We are proud to have our products lead the SVM for security effectiveness and we’ll continue to commit to maintaining our leadership by providing our customers the best protection possible in as many ways as possible. If you have not seen them already you can download copies of the reports for the Cisco ASA with FirePOWER Services and the FirePOWER 8350.

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Part 1: Why Is Enabling Only Authorized Users So Complex?

In the past, a critical component of preventing threats was understanding and controlling network access and access to network resources based on role, while also denying access for unauthorized users and devices.

However, assuring this secure network access has been increasingly difficult due to:

  • Complexity in understanding more than just who, but how, by what, when and from where users and devices attempt to access network resources
  • Complexity in connecting authorized users to needed services with the explosion of both on premise and remote devices used by a single user
  • Complexity in evolving network architectures where networks have become more “flat” and difficult to manage from a security standpoint
  • Complexity in unifying the number of disparate security systems that need to be configured, managed and visualized

These various aspects of security complexity challenge security practitioners with delivering the right services and purchasing the right solutions to not just handle the complexity, but also reduce it. However, when we take a look at IT security spending, where does the majority of investment go and where do most vendors siphon their money to and why?

If you look across the entire attack continuum, there are three phases that people need to focus on when dealing with threats and attacks: before an attack happens, during the time it is in progress, and even after the damage is done. To properly protect against threats in all stages, organizations need to reinvestigate their security to gain visibility and control across these three phases in order to truly reduce risk.

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